The effect of the Olympics on the state of the UK has provoked ambivalent responses from different sectors and individuals, and many seem unsure as to whether it was positive, or if the Games were, in fact, detrimental.
A survey of the Chairmen from the FTSE 100 companies came up with a similar result; one of uncertainty.
While 92% of Chairmen said the London 2012 Olympics would have a lasting positive effect on the perception of the UK throughout the world, only 52% thought the economy would benefit.
One Chairman from the FTSE 100 firms, which includes BSkyB, Tesco, and Vodafone, said: “My international contacts were universally impressed by the efficiency and general organisational capacity”, while another commented: “Through both sets of games, GB smiled”.
The FTSE 100 companies hold much of the UK’s economic sway, with a combined market capitalisation of £338.2bn and more than 1.4m people working within the firms.
The “Boardroom Pulse” survey, which is carried out by Korn/Ferry Whitehead Mann, criticised figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS), as it showed 32% of respondents said official figures do not accurately reflect the state of the economy.
One Chairman went so far as to say: “ONS are doing significant damage,” while others thought the banks had major governance failings and cultural flaws.
"Until Bank behavior changes perceptibly, media and public opinion will be negative, compounding any damage,” another Chairman added in the survey.
A senior client partner at Korn/Ferry, Dominic Schofield, said the UK economy was a picture of confusion, and anecdotal information disguises financial and business realities.
Mr Schofield said: “From the latest results, it is clear that the ramifications of the global economy are being felt across ‘UK plc’, with a need for investment in the UK’s transport infrastructure and concerns over the reputational fallout from the financial crash high on the agenda.”
Although the Olympics may be thought to improve global perceptions of the UK, the country’s top companies do not seem to think perceptions match up to the true state of the economy.
The FTSE 100 called for vital changes that must be made in infrastructure and the state of the country’s banks to measure up to global perceptions.